The Metropolitan Detention Center [MDC] in Brooklyn is bad on its best day, but following a fire on January 27, things got worse, not only for Vanguard, but for all 1,600 prisoners caged there.
Attorney Marc Agnifilo, as part of his Third Motion for Bond, tells how Raniere is suffering:
- MDC has been without heat, electricity, hot water, commissary or warm food since January 27, 2019.
- MDC has not provided Raniere with means to keep warm.
- The temperature is 44 degrees.
- Corrections officers are wearing masks to avoid the smell of noxious fumes, but have not provided masks to inmates.
- Raniere can’t see his lawyers to prepare for trial.
As with all things Raniere, one has to double check for ethical lying. It appears this time he was not. Inside MDC, on each floor of the 14-story prison, passersby saw prisoners frantically banging on walls and gesturing for help.
- MDC has no electricity and is operating on a generator.
- There’s only heat in the afternoons.
- Reportedly, according to a prison guard, the temperatures have dipped as low as 33 degrees.
- Prison guards are wearing scarves, winter hats, and coats inside while they work.
- The darkness makes it dangerous for guards to move inmates.
- Prisoners have suffered in the cold for more than a week, nearly freezing in the dark.
- Many can’t sleep. Their throats are hurting.
- On the day following the fire, inmates got no lunch and only cold food for dinner. Some of the prisoners on restricted diets got only bread or went without food.
- Since then, food is served cold.
- Prisoners have tried to block vents in their cells with clothing and blankets to keep frigid air out.
- One prisoner claimed he had only been given the single, thin blanket received upon intake. He claimed he has not been provided additional blankets or clothing.
- Thermal shirts or pants and blankets are available from the commissary, but the commissary is not open.
It is not clear how soon conditions will be corrected.
Yet, is the one week or longer, of cold at MDC reason to release Raniere on bail, as Agnifilo suggests to Judge Garaufis?
If the judge were to release Raniere, wouldn’t every other inmate at MDC be entitled to similar treatment (I know there’s only Vanguard but I’m not sure the judge will see things that way)?
Can the government find a way to turn the heat and electricity back on, and serve warm food?
The judge can push for a speedy trial, but it seems that a superseding indictment is coming and will push the trial beyond the current April 29, 2019 start date. Raniere could spend most of 2019 at MDC awaiting trial.
There is, of course, another explanation for what’s going on at MDC. Did Raniere grow tired of his attorneys’ inability to get him released on bail – and simply take matters into his own hands…er, I mean his own mind? Did he, in fact, cause this power outage at MDC by using his once-patent-pending-but-later-rejected tech to cause the fire in an attempt to win his freedom? If this doesn’t work, will he wreak further havoc on MDC and force the government to free all the inmates?
Viva Executive Success!